Messi guides Inter Miami past New England

Washington, April 28 (UNI) Lionel Messi scored two goals and set up another as leaders Inter Miami recovered from a goal down to cruise to 4-1 away victory over New England in their Major League Soccer clash on Saturday.

The hosts made an ideal start in front of 66,000 fans at Gillette Stadium when Tomas Chancalay chipped goalkeeper Drake Callender from an acute angle after Carles Gil’s perfectly weighted through ball.

Messi equalized just after the half hour as he ran onto Robert Taylor’s pass and calmly slotted his shot past Henrich Ravas.

The Argentina World Cup winner put his side ahead with another cool finish after combining with former Barcelona teammate Sergio Busquets.

Inter Miami were in irresistible form and substitute Ben Cremaschi made it 3-1 shortly after when he bundled home from close range after Messi’s attempt was kept out by Ravas.

Messi then turned provider as he laid the ball off to Luis Suarez, who lifted a superb effort into the far corner from a standing start.

“Now we have won three games in a row, two of those on the road, and we are more solid each day,” Inter Miami manager Gerardo Martino told reporters.

“We’re motivated by the atmosphere we’re seeing at every stadium. People are coming to see Leo [Messi] but they also want to see their team do well against us. We are dealing better with the pressure than we were before.”

Inter Miami now has 21 points from 11 outings and is three points clear of second-placed Cincinnati, who has a game in hand. New England is last in the 15-team Eastern Conference standings with four points from nine games.

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